The Daily Dirt: Hudson Yards exodus continues

An analysis of New York's top real estate news

A little over a year ago, Thomas Keller said restaurants are “the cornerstone of a neighborhood.” With the removal of his two eateries, Hudson Yards as a neighborhood is showing some cracks.

The chef on Wednesday announced that he will permanently close the TAK Room and Bouchon Bakery, two establishments that aimed to bring a Michelin Star dining experience to Hudson Yards — though no restaurants in the complex earned any stars last year.

The news isn’t exactly surprising, given the recent exit of Neiman Marcus, which anchored the Hudson Yards shopping mall. Related Companies has been shopping the space for office use, which Facebook is reportedly eyeing.

What this all means for the other retailers and restaurants at Hudson Yards is unclear. But Keller’s exit certainly puts a damper on the high-end neighborhood once envisioned by Related: One where its well-off residents could live, work and play, and of course, climb a giant shawarma to get a bird’s eye view of it all. The developer had a year to watch that vision to play out before the entire world changed.

If Facebook were to take residence at the shopping mall — in addition to its new Farley Building office as well as the space it is already leasing in Hudson Yards’ office towers — this pocket of the Far West Side could start looking less like a neighborhood and more like a tech office campus. But hey, tech bros gotta eat too.

One of NYC’s most powerful labor unions is embarking on a new chapter.

Peter Ward is stepping down as president of the Hotel Trades Council and its local affiliate after 20-plus years. He is handing off the baton to another union vet, Richard Maroko, the HTC’s general counsel.

“I’ve given my life to the Hotel Trades Council and Local 6,” said Ward, who was part of the union for two decades before becoming its leader. “So, it is hard to express the emotional and moral relief I feel knowing that I am handing over the stewardship of both our unions, and the well-being of our members to such an energetic, tough, honest, dedicated, sharp, strong leader.”

Ward is leaving at a pretty tough time for the hotel industry. Occupancy rates and revenue are way down, and it isn’t clear when tourism levels will approach anything remotely resembling normal. Maroko is also taking the helm as Mayor Bill de Blasio, an ally of the union, serves out the final years of his term. De Blasio has pushed for a citywide requirement for special permits for new hotel construction. The union is in favor, but some in the real estate industry fear that the mayor is still determined to enact such a rule before he leaves office.

It will be interesting to see if Maroko gets this proposal over the finish line or takes it up with the next mayor.

What we’re thinking about: I know this is probably NOT Related’s top priority right now, but a year ago the developer launched a contest to rename the Vessel. What the heck happened with that? Can we get some transparency on the selection process here? Send guesses / your preferred name change to


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Residential: The priciest residential closing recorded Wednesday was for a condo at 180 East 88th Street on the Upper East Side, at $11.2 million.

Commercial: The most expensive commercial closing of the day was for multifamily building at 39-30 59th Street in Woodside, at $9.5 million.


The largest new building filing of the day was for a 42,793-square-foot mixed-use building at 2528 Grand Avenue in University Heights. Long G Lin of Granger Street Realty LLC filed the permit application.


The priciest residential listing to hit the market was for a condo at 45 Walker Street in Tribeca, at $15 million. Brown Harris Stevens has the listing.
— Research by Orion Jones

A thing we’ve learned…

At one point, the Brooklyn Army Terminal — which served as the largest army base in the U.S. through World War II — was the biggest concrete structure in the world. Obviously a lot has changed since it opened in 1918. The distinction now belongs to the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in China

Elsewhere in New York

— The Daily News no longer has a homebase in NYC. The New York Times reports that the paper’s owner, Tribune Publishing, plans to permanently close Daily News’ office at 4 New York Plaza. It is unclear whether the newspaper will eventually open another physical office. 🙁

— Sunset Park is seeing a rise in Covid-19 cases, the Wall Street Journal reports. The neighborhood’s infection rate has reached 6.9 percent, compared to the 1 percent rate the city has hovered around since July. “When we see any kind of trend that’s unusual, that’s when we double down,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

— The city is expected to lay off some 22,000 public workers on Oct. 1 if other funding sources don’t become available, Politico New York reports. “If you’re going to keep cutting and keep cutting, it has to at some point reach personnel,” the mayor said Wednesday. “It’s just pure logic of budgets, and it’s very sad logic. I don’t like it one bit, and I want to avert this at all costs. So that 22,000 number is painfully real.”